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November 3, 2014 12:02 am

Palestinian Activist Rula Jebreal Compares Bill Maher to Anti-Semite; Maher Responds: ‘Is There a Gay Bar in Gaza?’ (VIDEO)

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Bill Maher and Rula Jebreal. Photo: Screenshot.

When Palestinian activist and author Rula Jebreal compared Bill Maher to an anti-Semite on Friday for his oft stated views on Islam, the TV host defended his position, asking if a gay bar can be found in the Gaza Strip.

The panel of experts on Real Time with Bill Maher were discussing the controversy surrounding Maher’s upcoming commencement speech at University of California, Berkeley which is opposed by some students who called for its cancellation.

Jebreal claimed she is “all for” freedom of speech but asked, “would you accept an openly anti-Semitic person to give a commencement speech to Jewish students? I actually would not accept that.”

Maher interjected saying, “I rather resent the idea that I’m comparable to an anti-Semite. All I’ve ever done was basically read facts.”

“You’re comparing all Muslims in one pot,” Jebreal shot back. “I am actually a secular Muslim and when you talk about Islam in a certain way, I have to tell you, it’s offensive sometimes and some people feel threatened.”

Maher then asked her, “Can you be gay in Gaza? And live?” to which Jebreal responded, “Yes you can? Absolutely you can… You can be gay in Gaza. I traveled the Middle East.”

Maher replied, “Is there a gay bar in Gaza?”

Without answering the question, Jebreal continued: “You are comparing the majority of Muslim states with Saudi Arabia or with ISIS.”

“The Muslim community in this country, you are treating them like fifth columnists and they are not,” she claimed. “The Muslim community feel threatened and feel offended and they are underrepresented in the media and underrepresented in political avenues. You never invite them here [on your show] on these issues.”

“‘Never invite them here’? You’re here… They’re here all the time,” Maher responded.

When Jebreal then challenged Maher to a “serious conversation” about Islam, the host took offense: “Every time I say something you don’t like it’s not a serious conversation or I’m a bigot. I’m sorry,” he said. “In your world, either I say exactly what you want me to say or else I’m a bigot. And that just doesn’t work for me.”

The show’s debate about Islam began several weeks ago when actor Ben Affleck attended as a panelist and challenged the host regarding his views on radical Islam.

Watch Maher and Jebreal on Real Time with Bill Maher below.

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  • samuel

    The “Islam” debate is a side effect of the oil wars , imagine if oil didn’t exist , there would be no israel , isis or drones
    and we would be having national geographic specials on the region
    instead of cia sponsored beheadings

  • Chauncey L

    Bill, please don’t invite that insolent pea brain to your show again unless for Muslim Dior. Single most incoherent guest.

    • Gerry

      HBO Realtime
      Mr. Jebreal in her dialog attempted to discredit Bill Maher every chance or opportunity she got on Friday’s Halloween show. Thankfully, Mr. Maher not only maintained his composure but also fired back with facts regarding his position on the Islamic religion’s dogmatic refusal to accept or allow coexistence of their followers with other non-Islamic people who enjoy freedoms their faithful are forbidden. Thank God we live in a Country where religious differences of opinions aren’t dispatch with the sharp edge of a knife.

      If our country were to concedes to the wailing and shrieking of the faithful of a malevolent Islamic God we wouldn’t be turning the other cheek we would be turn our backs on the principles and truths this nation was built on while desecrating and limiting our image of God to one of a unforgiving monster.

      I hope the University of Berkley students don’t fall pray to the machinations of one women’s schizophrenic interpretation of Bigotry.

      Gerald Maloney

      • Brian Dockter


        Bill Maher makes millions by being intellectually dishonest. A good majority of the people who watch him or follow him aren’t even aware he is being intellectually dishonest because all they see in him is his ability to make people laugh. He knows this. This is why he is so successful in attracting people who can be spoonfed his propaganda, mockeries, and distortions of the truth. It’s all about making people laugh. Bill Maher doesn’t care at what expense it is to other people.

      • Brian Dockter


        If society as a whole were to concede to the likes of Bill Maher we would be in a world of hurt. Think about it.

      • Brian Dockter

        I hope the students don’t fall prey to the distortions, mockeries, and propaganda Maher spews on a daily basis.

  • Rob Suggitt

    Interesting that Rula Jebrel made a comment on Bill Maher’s show that he would be fired if he made similar remarks about Christians or Jews. Most who know Bill Maher know that he offers critiques on all organized religions, something, which in a free society, he has a right to do. And as Maher points out, offering such criticisms (or parodies) of religion or culture are not uniformly received by the various groups.

    That’s the danger, for Maher or others, who dare to exercise their free rights. Just ask Kurt Vestergaard, the Danish cartoonist, who dared to parody the prophet Muhammad, or Salman Rushdie who wrote the Satanic Verses. In uncivilized, intolerant or extreme cultures, anyone offering such criticisms deserves to be put to death (usually violently), and the huddled masses rarely offer a contrary viewpoint.

    Getting back to Bill Maher, he actually did lose his T.V. show in 2002 (“Politically Incorrect”), and as a result of making a comment which many of his current detractors (including Rula Jabreal perhaps) would find surprising. It was just after 9/11, and after U.S. President George W. Bush commented that the terrorists were cowards. Maher commented on his show that “we have been the cowards, lobbying cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That’s cowardly. Staying in an airplane when it hits the building, say what you want, (but) it’s not cowardly.”

    Soon after making these comments, some advertisers withdrew their support, and the network (ABC) canceled the show. So “say what you want” about Bill Maher, but he has paid the price for exercising the right of free speech. And interestingly, he took a position in 2001, which in view of the current debate, seems contradictory to his previous viewpoint. But not so fast. I can’t speak for Maher, but I hardly think he was glorifying the actions of the 9/11 terrorists. He was simply stating that the act itself was not cowardly, which is not incongruent with the fact that the terrorists were immoral, despicable, horrible human beings. I’m not sure if I would offer the same comment as Maher (“that the terrorists were not cowards”), but I understand his point of view.

    • Brian Dockter


      The fact that Maher did not think the act was cowardly is a glorification of these terrorists to the terrorists and people who understand the way they think. Maher knew this when he said it. He constantly exercises his right to free speech all the while mocking the system that grants him the right to free speech. Sadly, He’s made him himself a useful idiot for those who hate freedom.

  • Feigue Cieplinski

    Calling Bill Maher an antisemite is appropriating a misnomer!
    The German Wilhelm Marr coined this word to enhance what was known as Jew-hatred. Therefore, Jew hatred became antisemitismus.
    Jews and Arabs share Semitic languages origins but no, Muslims are not “semites” in any way shape or form. That doesn’t exist.

    That is why we write antisemitism in lower case now and frankly there is no better words for Jew- hated than Jew- hatred. The other possibility is using the word Judeophobia.
    Bill Maher is not an antisemite at all.

  • When Saudi Arabia or Qatar decide to buy HBO, Bill’s days on-air will numbered.

    They seem to be doing pretty well directing foreign policy at our State Dept.!

  • Jacqueline

    Just another failed actor who happens to claim she is Palestinian so she can get on bill maher show and be seen. What bull sh$$$t

  • Karla Petermann

    Amazing how she never would come out and answer a question. Just attack upon the rights of others to speak. She has been drinking the Kool-Aid! One minded people who believe that Islam is the only way or die. And want to stop all those in their way. It will NEVER happen.

  • Jose Duran

    Secular Muslims are an oxymoron. Islam condemns: dissension , critical thinking, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, human rights are subordinate to their faith, political freedom, islam’s submission dogma, prohibits free thinking thought, skews science, abhors truth, Islams , Alice in wonderland mentality, is a recipe for disaster, and mediocrity, we can’t defend this kind of philosophy, with an open eye and hold onto our brains intact.

    • Michael Fox

      The definition of Islam is submission. Being a secular Muslim is like being a meat eating vegetarian.

    • Rafael

      There are secular Muslims just like secular Christians and Jews . Isis has killed many Muslims claiming they are not Muslim enough. This is what Rula is saying. In the 1930’s the Zionist Stern Gang was the Isis of their era. A murdering Jewish militia that did not represent the whole of the Jewish population. The Natzis did not represent the Catholic faith even though they were faith driven Christians.

      • Brian Dockter

        Thank you, Rafael.

    • Mini

      Not true. You don’t seem to know much about Islam, Jose. Kurdish muslims are a perfect of example of secular muslims.

  • I never thought I’d say this, but “Bravo, Maher!”

  • diane h

    I, for one, am sick of Muslims and their rhetoric.

  • anon

    First of all – just google it. Homosexuality is illegal in Gaza. Anyone see her film Miral? That film was repeatedly thrown in my face by a Muslim anti-Israel person that I know. She claims that she was whipped in an Israeli prison as a teenage girl and her ex-boyfriend, big fat Jewish idiot Julian Schnabel who made the film (and admitted in the NYTimes that it contains lies) says, “I’ve seen the scars”. I would like to challenge that. She was probably whipped by a male relative for wearing lipstick.

    The difference between Islam and other religions? Yes, there are Jews who try to literally follow the tenets of a 2,000 year old book but – and this is a huge but – minus the stoning and the smiting.

    Maher said more importantly on the show – does any other religion try to kill someone (Salman Rushdie) for writing a book?

  • Rabbi Raksin was shot in August in Miami-Dade. Why are his killers still at large? Are police still investigating? In other words, Jews are targets. Who is pulling the trigger? At least Bill Maher is willing to call a spade a spade. Honesty is the first victim of corruption.the reason there will be no Palestinian State is that Palestinians don’t want their own state. They want Israel. Like the German Muslims, American Muslims have to stop trying to have it both ways. They must denounce radical Islamic violence as Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan and many other Muslim countries have.

  • Robert Davis

    A secular moslem is a dead moslem or a converted moslem! But in danger of death.

  • DemocracyRules


    Obama is a secular Muslim. His father was a Muslim, and by Islamic law the children of a Muslim father are Muslim. No additional confirmation is necessary. If a Muslim wants to leave Islam, they must renounce it directly and openly. If they do not renounce it, they are still a Muslim.

    Obama has never renounced his Muslim religion directly and openly. So he is still a Muslim. There is nothing political about this, it’s simple logic.

    He claims the he is not a Muslim. Although this is not factually true, I take it to mean that Obama considers himself a secular Muslim.

  • J.J.Barug

    a secular Muslim seems to me a contradiction. You cannot be born Muslim and become secular afterwards

  • Stu Katz

    Just like Sharpton and Jackson, you are not a racist, unless I declare that you are one. By definition we can ruin lives of white policemen (Twana Brawley, Ferguson’s officer) even if they are guilty of nothing. Oh and by the way Palmade Sharpton has yet to apologize for smearing the NY policemen, who Twana accused of smearing feces on her, and putting her in a trash bag. Remember that Rev. Al? Just like the school of religion you never went to. At least Imus bought a mail order Doctor of Divinity!

    • art frank

      Right on about Americas leading shakedown artists

  • Kris

    Wow, Bill wiped the floor with her. She lied to win the argument (you cannot be openly gay in Gaza and live) and he still annihilated her – she looked like a complete fool.

    • Mini

      She didn’t lie. He didn’t ask if you can be openly gay in Gaza. He asked if you can be gay in Gaza and yes, you CAN be gay in Gaza and live if you keep it a secret. In many parts of the world, you cannot be openly gay without risk. Uganda, a Christian country, has an Anti-Homosexuality Act. Doesn’t mean you still can’t be gay. Yet he defends Christianity.

      • JMullen

        He defends Christianity?? You need to research who Bill Maher is before you say something so ignorant. Try watching Religulous

  • As Winston Churchill so wisely said: Islam in a man is as dangerous as rabies in a dog.

  • Jeff

    They just remembered the 10th anniversary of the murder of Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands for daring to challenge Islamic views and Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders can also attest to the danger you put your life in by speaking out. Bill Maher is a lonely voice on this topic

    • Jose Duran

      You got it man. Islams quoram’ sis not worth the paper is written on, should be lining up bird cages, which is where it belongs

  • Forget about gays, look at the way the Muslims treat their own women! This Jebreal woman isn’t wearing a headscarf. She would be stoned to death in Gaza although from her name, I suspect she is a Christian.

  • J.E Hay

    I Don’t Usually Agree With Mahler On Most Issues Of The Day But He Is Absolutely Truthful About The Demonic Death Cult Islam. And Yes It Should Apply To All Muslims Because The All Believe In The Same False Religion And Believe What Is Written In Their Satanic Verses Which Is Widely Referred To As The Quran. There Is No Such Thing As Moderate And Radical Simply And Clearly Because They Are All The Same.

    • HÞ

      Yes same as Christianity false human made iron world laws.

  • Ratings up or bust !!

  • Prof. Herbert Reginbogin

    Moderate Islam is theologically not in the cards unless serious theologians sit down to interpret the jihad as a struggle within the human and not an act of aggressıon toward others. It ıs up to the relıgious commities of Islam to carry the message vocıferously without preconditiosn or exceptions to expalain the objective of >Islam in the 21st century. Unless this is achieved then the intolerance displayed by so many beliüevers in Islam will be dıscounted in the eyes of the world.

    • Jim

      The problem with waiting for the mullahs to take action is that the current state of affairs boosts their power. Any movement away from radicalism will come at the expense of their power. Why should they help out?

  • Franklin

    Well done Bill, these muslims will lie thro their teeth to protect their religion of so-called peace. I liked the one on “one piece here and another piece there”

    We need more people like you.

  • steven L

    They are for a one way freedom of speech. Their way. They already got it with Obama at the UN.